My Films of the Week #2: Diego Maradona, The Fisher King & More

As a lifelong cinephile, I have always consumed a copious amount of films. In this new feature, I keep track of the films I watch during the week.

Diego Maradona (Asif Kapadia, 2019, United Kingdom)

The third instalment in Asif Kapadia’s trilogy of docs on child wonders, whose touch turns everything to gold. Gripping, dramatic and exciting, continues to affirm its director as one of the most influential figures in modern documentary filmmaking.

Gascoigne (Jane Preston, 2015, United Kingdom)

The story of football player Paul Gascoigne. Unlike the aforementioned Diego Maradona, Preston’s approach is more straightforward and its nostalgic touch slightly annoying. Luckily, Gascoigne’s story is interesting enough to carry the film forward.

An Honest Liar (Justin Weinstein, Tyler Measom, 2014, United States)

A documentary on trickery and truth, An Honest Liar may have slipped under the radar ever so slightly but it’s well worth re-evaulating.

Tickled (David Farrier, Dylan Reeve, 2016, New Zealand)

An online tickle competition unravels deeper, darker truths. Tickled appears quirky at the start but then becomes a downright frightening reveal of the dangers of the internet and the manipulative, powerful people behind it.

The Tickle King (David Farrier, Dylan Reeve, 2017, New Zealand)

An addendum to the original feature film Tickled, documenting the tumultuous screenings of the original film by its reluctant protagonists. To some extent, I wish more movies had an accompanying short film like this one.

Deep Web (Alex Winter, 2015, United States)

Another film that aims to reveal truths about the internet and revolutionary ideologies behind it. However, despite narration from Keanu Reeves, Deep Web feels rather dull and slow-paced compared to other more gripping similar movies.

Talk Radio (Oliver Stone, 1988, United States)

Satisfied my fascination with movies about obsessive, self-destructive men quite well. It’s also as good a film about shock jocks as, I believe, we are ever going to get.

The Fisher King (Terry Gilliam, 1991, United States)

One of the best movies Terry Gilliam has ever written. Aside from its characteristic style, the film is entertaining and carries a charming romantic core that never quite gets overbearing. Great performances by the cast all around, Amanda Plummer in a supporting role steals the show.

Penrod and Sam (William Beaudine, 1923, United States)

Initially appears like a feature-length Our Gang-like movie but later reveals itself as a much more deeper, honest exploration of boyhood. Surprisingly contemporary and mature in its depiction of play as serious business for children, and in its general avoidance of stereotypes.

National Customs (Luo Mingyou, Zhu Shilin, 1935, China)

One of the few surviving Chinese New Life Movement propaganda films. It’s not a very impressive film and kind of falls apart with its ending but remains noteworthy, particularly for being Lingyu Ruan’s final film before she took her own life at 25.

Click here to buy my book of thoughts on film, Eye of the Beholder, on Amazon!

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